Each year, the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation names its Distinguished Alumni based on academic achievement, career success and community involvement. Thirteen alumni were chosen to be recognized as Distinguished Alumni this year, and were honored at a dinner on May 12 at Chatmoss Country Club. This year's recipients are:
debra buchanan ('77)
Debra Buchanan earned her associate degree from PHCC in education in 1977.
She currently serves as the morning anchor host of “Good Morning Southside” on WGSR Star News, where she also serves as the sales manager. Buchanan is an elected official of the Henry County Board of Supervisors representing the Horsepasture District for the past 24 years and currently serves as the vice chairman of the board. She is the owner of Debra’s Antiques & Collectibles and is also a licensed auctioneer and holds a personal property and appraiser’s license. Buchanan created the “Coat Drive for Kids” in Henry County to provide new and gently used coats for children in need. Buchanan also started the outreach program “Shoes for the Soul” partnering with local churches to get shoes to needy children. She is a member of the Horsepasture Rescue Squad board, the Horsepasture Ruritan Club, Smith River Small Towns Collaborative, Certified Personal Property Appraisers Guild of America and serves on the Workforce Investment Board, the community advisory board panel at Patrick Henry Correctional Unit #28 and the Workforce Local Elected Officials board. In addition, Buchanan has received the Horsepasture Ruritan Club “Ruritan of the Year Award”, the Focus on Youth/CASA Service Award and the Martinsville Henry County SPCA Director’s Choice Award. She is an active member of Hillcrest Baptist Church.
Pam cobler, eDd ('86)
Dr. Pam Cobler completed credits towards an associate degree in general studies in 1986. She continued her education earning a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education at James Madison University in 1988, a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Virginia in 1994 and a Doctorate of Education in administration in 2004 at California Coast University.
Dr. Cobler is a community advocate for the Disability Rights and Resource Center in Rocky Mount, Virginia. She has previously served as the CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center Foundation, director of Americorps Virginia, director of the Piedmont Tech Prep Consortium at Patrick Henry Community College, manager of Fairy Stone State Park recreation area and a teacher in Henry County Public Schools. Dr. Cobler was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Virginia in 2004 and was 2nd runner up to Ms. Wheelchair America. She has served on Governor Warner’s Commission for the Community and National Service and was appointed by two governors to the State Rehabilitation Council where she still serves on the executive board. Dr. Cobler serves on several boards including STEP, Inc. , Wilson Workforce Rehabilitation Center, West Piedmont Housing Coalition, Franklin County Local Emergency Preparedness Council, Non-Profits Leadership Council, West Piedmont Go Healthy, Complete Streets, Special Ed Advisory Council for Martinsville City Schools and Patrick County Schools, Disabilities Unlimited, Smith Mountain Lake Charity Tour, West Piedmont Peer Counseling Group and Franklin Rides Task Force. Dr. Cobler is an active member of Mercy Crossing Church of God, volunteers and serves on the board of Wheel Love, does equine horse therapy and serves on the board at Tackfully Teamed Riding Academy and travels the state and region speaking on business and economic development as well as rehabilitation education and awareness.
katina dalton ('06)
Katina Dalton earned her associate degree from PHCC in information technology in 2006. She continued her education with coursework in computer science and technology and software engineering and database at Radford University and classes in business management at Liberty University.
Dalton is employed as the business application manager at Hooker Furniture. In her thirteen year career at Hooker, she has previously worked as the business systems analyst in the Information Services department. An active volunteer at Martinsville High School, Dalton is the current president of the Martinsville High School Soccer Boosters program having also served as treasurer. She is also the treasurer of the Martinsville High School Band Boosters and serves on the After Prom Committee. Dalton can be found working concessions at Martinsville High School supporting the soccer and basketball programs. Other community volunteer work includes participation in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the Boys and Girls Club and United Way projects through Hooker Furniture.
David dillard ('91)
David Dillard graduated from PHCC in 1991 and earned his associate degree in industrial electronics technology. He continued his education earning a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics engineering technology in 1994 from Norfolk State University and a Master of Science degree in industrial technology at North Carolina A & T University in 2007.
Dillard is an associate professor of general engineering technology at Patrick Henry Community College. He previously served in other roles at PHCC including being an adjunct professor of computer information systems and developmental mathematics, an instructional media services manager and a developmental mathematics faculty member. He was also an integral part of the SCALE team and led many cooperative learning trainings across the state and country. In his current position, Dillard serves as the faculty advisor for the dual enrollment IDEA Academy and the primary investigator for a National Science Foundation grant awarded to PHCC. He is a certified Siemens Mechatronics Level 1 instructor and also licensed to instruct courses for the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician program through the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing at Eastman Chemical. Dillard is a member of the National Association of Development Educators, the Virginia Association of Developmental Educators, the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges and the Virginia Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. He received the Teaching Faculty of the Year award at PHCC in 2017 and most recently began leading a group of high school students in underwater robotics competitions. He is an active member in the community in outreach events as a member of the Sandy Level Masonic Lodge #274 and a volunteer at Grace Network.
Latala hodges ('06)
Latala Hodges completed credits toward an associate degree in general studies in 2006. She continued her education earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications and print journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently completing coursework at Hollins University in a Master of Arts degree program in social sciences.
Hodges is employed as the director of communications at the Harvest Foundation. She was previously employed at Patrick Henry Community College as a communications specialist and social media manager. Hodges has also worked as a copy editor at the Martinsville Bulletin and a reporter for the Rockingham County Newsgroup. She is a member of the VCU Alumni Association, Public Relations Society of America, Dan River Basin Association and the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Hodges is the president elect of the Martinsville Rotary Club and an ambassador for the Martinsville Henry County Tourism Office. She is an active volunteer with Infinity Acres Ranch, a volunteer communications specialist for the American Red Cross – Blue Ridge Chapter and a board member of the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville. Hodges received the Young Professional of the Year award in 2018 from the Martinsville Henry County Chamber of Commerce.
amy nester ('93)
Amy Nester graduated from PHCC in 1993 with an associate degree in general studies. She continued her education at Averett University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education in 1994. Nester then earned an endorsement of library media specialist in 2009 from the University of Virginia at Wise and will complete a Master of Science degree from Mary Baldwin University this spring in special education.
She is employed as a special education teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary School and a member of the school improvement team. Nester previously taught third and fifth grade at Albert Harris Elementary School and third grade at Patrick Henry Elementary School as the lead teacher before becoming the school librarian in 2009. Nester is an active adult member of Girl Scout Troop #616 and a member of Rich Acres Christian Church where she is a regular participant in the Faith in Action program and a youth sponsor involved with Vacation Bible School and the children’s ministry program.
Dr. david shockley ('88)
Dr. David Shockley completed credits towards an associate degree in general studies in 1988. He then continued his education earning a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology in 1990 and a Master of Arts degree in industrial technology in 1991 from Appalachian State University and a Doctor of Education in leadership in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University in 2005.
Dr. Shockley is the president of Surry Community College in Dobson, North Carolina. He has worked in the North Carolina Community College System for twenty three years. Prior to his presidency at Surry CC, he served in several roles at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute as the executive vice president and chief academic officer, vice president of student services, dean of technology and instructional support services, a networking fundamentals instructor and director of computer services. Dr. Shockley is an executive committee member of the North Carolina Community College State Board Governance committee and ERP/Data Initiative committee. He has served as president, vice president and secretary of the executive committee of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents and a mentor to first year community college presidents. Dr. Shockley is also a member of the Northern Surry Hospital board, the Yadkin County Investors Economic Development board, and the Surry County Educational Partnership board. He has participated in numerous professional presentations and has received the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the North Carolina Community College System President of the Year award. Dr. Shockley is actively involved in his community as an early morning seminary instructor with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a Flash USA boys basketball coach.
lisa smith ('89)
Lisa Smith graduated from PHCC in 1989 with an associate degree in general studies. She continued her education at Old Dominion University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 1993.
Smith is the community recovery program manager at Piedmont Community Services. She earned a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Certification from the Virginia Board of Counseling in 2010 and a Non-Profit Leadership Certification from Duke University in 2012. Smith previously served as a probation officer and substance use groups facilitator with the Virginia Department of Corrections for twelve years. She actively serves on the Martinsville/Henry/Patrick County Re-Entry Council and has written several grants to provide funding for speakers and training opportunities. Other board memberships include the Southern Area Agency on Aging executive board, the Anchor Commission executive board, the Martinsville Henry County Human Resources Association and the Franklin County Human Resources Association. Smith is active with the Martinsville Uptown Rotary Club and is a member of the Galilean House of Worship.
manker stone ('95, '96)
Manker Stone graduated from PHCC in 1995 with a certificate in heating, ventilation and air conditioning. In 1996, he earned a certificate in general business, an associate degree in marketing and an associate degree in business management. Prior to his enrollment at Patrick Henry Community College, Stone attended Bridgewater College for one year.
He retired as the president of Nolen and Stone Furniture Company in 2014. Stone was appointed to the Henry County Board of Zoning Appeals by the Honorable Judge David Williams in 2002 and has served as the board chairman for the past thirteen years. He was a member of the Bassett, Collinsville and Virginia Jaycees and has held several officer positions in the organizations such as president and chief of staff. Stone received the Sidney D. Peck Outstanding Local President Award and the Life Membership Award from the Virginia Jaycees. Stone has been a member of the Bassett Volunteer Fire Department for thirty five years and held positions as president, vice president and lieutenant. He received the Samuel J. Pilson Fire Office of the Year award from the County of Henry in 2017 and was recently named the Fire Officer of the Year at the Bassett Volunteer Fire Department. Stone is an active member with the Bassett Church of the Brethren and served as the chairman of the stewardship committee.
robert vogler ('67)
Robert Vogler graduated from Patrick Henry College of the University of Virginia in 1967 with a certificate in general studies which was the highest diploma awarded at the time. He continued his education at Virginia Commonwealth University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1969. Vogler completed a Master of Science degree in education in 1975 and an Educational Specialist degree in 1979 at the University of Virginia.
He retired as the director of student services for Henry County Public Schools in 2008. Vogler previously worked as a teacher, as a assistant principal of George Washington Carver High School from 1976-1987, and in the special education department at the County Central Office. He currently serves as the president of the Colonel George Waller Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and is a member of the Virginia SAR Color Guard. Vogler is a regular program presenter on colonial history to local groups and organizations and was a former Revolutionary War reenactor in Greensboro and New Bern, North Carolina as well as in Colonial Williamsburg. He is the board treasurer for the Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness and on the board of directors of Oakwood Cemetery. Vogler holds several memberships in the community including the Martinsville Transportation Commission, the Society of the War of 1812, the Martinsville Henry County Historical Society, the Spencer Penn Centre, Piedmont Arts, the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Martinsville Henry County SPCA. He is also an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Martinsville.
stephanie wagoner, rn, bsn ('95)
Stephanie Wagoner earned her associate degree in nursing from PHCC in 1995. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Radford University while attending the New College Institute in 2008. Wagoner also earned a Management Academy of Public Health Certificate in 2008 from the University of North Carolina.
Wagoner is a nursing and emergency medical services instructor at Patrick Henry Community College. She also assists with RN clinical experiences, medical terminology curriculum, and the community dental outreach program. In addition, Wagoner serves as a life care planning coordinator/community liaison with the Estate & Elder Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC. She has previously worked as an emergency room nurse at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, a RN applicant instructor for the Emergency Department at Martinsville Memorial Hospital, a nurse supervisor at the Henry-Martinsville Health Department, a public health nurse, a home health nurse and a licensed practical nurse. Wagoner holds several professional certifications as a Registered Nurse, Healthcare Provider CPR, Licensed Practical Nurse, Virginia Emergency Medical Technician-Cardiac Intermediate, Certified Child Health Care Consultant/Instructor with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor, Certified Telemedicine Clinical Presenter, and Certified Virginia POST Facilitator. She is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Bassett and serves on the nursery committee and as a Vacation Bible School teacher.
Ricky walker ('94)
Ricky Walker graduated from PHCC in 1994 with an associate degree in criminal justice. He continued his education with Old Dominion University taking advantage of the Teletechnet program offered at Patrick Henry Community College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in administration of justice in 1997 and a graduate certificate in public administration in 1999. Walker then completed a Master of Science degree in sociology with a minor in criminology from Longwood University in 2005.
He is the director of operations for the ANCHOR Commission Group Home System. Walker previously worked for the Martinsville Police Department for twenty one years rising to the rank of lieutenant and then for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office before retiring as a major in 2016. He also served as adjunct faculty for the Virginia Commonwealth University offsite degree program at the New College Institute, adjunct faculty for the Inspire online program at Bluefield College and adjunct faculty in the applied sciences and engineering programs at Patrick Henry Community College. Walker serves on several community boards including the Community Recovery Program board, the Drug Free Martinsville and Henry County board, the HEY (Helping Empower Youth) Task Force, the Fayette Area Historical Initiative board, and the Camp Lee Ford board. He has multiple training certifications and received Officer of the Year awards from the Martinsville Elks Club and Martinsville Exchange Club. Walker is a member of the Piedmont Masonic Lodge, the Kiwanis Club and a charter member and past president of the Patrick Henry Fraternal Order of Police. He is an active member of Rich Acres Christian Church where he has served as a deacon since 2009.
charles william, jr ('75)
Charles Williams, Jr. earned his associate degree in business from PHCC in 1975 after his military service, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, ended and he returned to Martinsville.
He is an auctioneer and owner of Williams Auction Company, LLC. After Williams graduated from PHCC, he worked with a truck leasing company and was promoted to service manager with responsibility for records and budgets. He retired in 1999 and then attended Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in High Point, North Carolina earning his auctioneer license. Williams received his appraisal license from the Missouri School of Auctioneers Certified Appraisers Guild. He regularly conducts benefit auctions for the American Legion, VFW’s, volunteer fire departments and churches in need and has opened doors for women auctioneers. Williams is a board member for the Horsepasture Volunteer Rescue Squad and Camp 28 Virginia State Correctional Facility. He is a member of the National Auctioneer’s Association, American Legion Post 42, Horsepasture Ruritan Club, associate member of the Fieldale Ruritan Club and a life member of VFW Post 1115. Williams received the “Ruritan of the Year” award from the Horsepasture club. He is an active member of Hillcrest Baptist Church and serves as an usher.